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Anderson Cooper 360

News/Business. (2012) (CC)

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U.s. 36, U.n. 33, United States 9, Us 8, America 8, Talia 6, Cymbalta 5, California 5, Cnn 5, Mr. Achane 4, Geneva 4, Anthony Kennedy 3, Brad Pitt 3, General Dick Thornburgh 3, Citi 3, Achane 3, Freis 3, Ho 3, Lee 3, Santorum 2,
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  CNN    Anderson Cooper 360    News/Business.  (2012)  (CC)  

    December 7, 2012
    7:00 - 8:00pm PST  

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learn how to swim. >> it is unbelievable to me that i have come this far from such a tragedy with my son. >> it was an unforgettable night capped off with the unveiling of the cnn hero of the year, pu pushpa basnet, founder of a children's home in nepal. >> thank you everyone who vote forward me and believed in my dream. >> the hope is their heroic example will inspire countless others. ♪ even heroes need heroes sometimes ♪ >> reporter: kareen wynter, cnn, los angeles. that's all for us tonight. "ac 360" starts now. good evening. it's 10:00. we begin as we do every night, keeping them honest. our goal is just reporting. finding the truth, looking for facts. for two nights, we've been looking for any fact
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a single shred of evidence that might support the inflammatory flames heard on the floor of the u.s. senate used to block a u.n. treaty. a treaty meant to improve the lives of millions of disabled people around the world. hundreds of millions. the treaty is called the united nations conventions on the rights of persons with disabilities. it was modeled on the americans with disabilities act. the treaty was meant to encourage other countries to be more like the u.s. on the issue of equal rights for the disabled. also disabled americans who visit or live in other countries could potentially benefit from the u.n. treaty. 125 countries ratified it. but on tuesday, 38 u.s. republican senators voted against it. there names are right there. some of them flip-flopped at the last minute. some had signaled support for the treaty and then indicated they'd vote for it only to vote against it. one of the measure's co-sponsored, jerry mirrand, actually voted against it. so the guy who co-sponsored it voted against it. we asked him to come on the
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program yesterday, today as well. he declined. a former senator got involved on this as well, rick santorum, whose 4-year-old daughter bella is disabled. he was one of the treaty's strongest proponents. here's what he said last month. >> this is a direct assault on us and our family to hand over to the state the ability to make medical determinations and see what is in the best interest of the child and not look at the wonderful gift that every child is. those claims alarmed a lot of parents with disabled children. but keeping them honest, mr. santorum's claims are not based in fact. he's claiming that the treaty would give u.n. bureaucrats power over u.s. law affecting disabled kids. but the treaty would not change u.s. law. in fact, there's no precedent that we can find that any u.n. treaty has ever changed u.s. law. we'll dig deeper on that in a moment. after the vote, cnn asked senator john kerry about santorum's claims. here's what he said. >> i have great respect for both rick and his wife karen and
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their daughter and their family. he's a strong family man. but he either simply hasn't read the treaty or doesn't understand it, or he was just not factual in what he said because the united nations has absolutely zero -- zero, i mean zero ability to order or to tell or to -- i mean, they can suggest, but they have no legal capacity to tell the united states to do anything under this treaty. nothing. >> it's not just democrats saying that. in a moment you'll hear from a republican who says the exact same thing. former u.s. attorney dick thornburgh. but the big question that we've been trying to figure out is why? why the flip-flopping and the no-voting based on, as far as we can tell, a boatload of misinformation. well, it turns out it could be because some powerful conservative groups lobbied hard against it and, like santorum, they claim the treaty threatened u.s. sovereignty. claimed being the operative
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word. the heritage foundation claimed it would leave the door open for abortion advocates. the home school legal defense association rallied parents claiming it was a threat to home schooling in the united states. again, just claims. no actual facts. here's democratic senator chris coons of delaware on the last home school claim. >> they have succeeded in scaring the parents who home schooled their children all over this country. my own office has gotten dozens of calls and letters demanding that i vote against this convention as a matter of international law and as a matter of u.s. law. this convention does nothing. does nothing to change the home schooling of children in america. >> he gave that speech on the senate floor just before the vote. senator mike lee of utah was 1 of the 38 republicans who voted against the u.n. treaty. he agreed to talk us to tonight. he's a constitutional lawyer, was a law clerk for justice alito. we spoke a short time ago.
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senator, you said this treaty will somehow change u.s. law or could change u.s. law. former republican attorney general dick thornburgh who helped negotiate this treaty on behalf of president george bush said emphatically it would have no effect on u.s. law, not now, not ever. is he wrong? >> well, i respectfully disagree with the former attorney general's conclusions. i look at the treaty and i see one provision that arguably sets in place international entitlement rights. another provision that can be read to undermine the rights of parents to make decisions on how best to educate and otherwise care for their children with disabilities. and another provision of the treaty that can be read to obligate the united states government to pay for abortion services. >> you are just interpreting things. it doesn't -- it never uses the word abortion. it basically says on -- that disabled people should have the same access to health care that other people have. that nondisabled people have overseas. again, we're talking about overseas. >> it does refer to reproductive rights and reproductive rights
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in this context has been interpreted to include abortion. and this is an -- >> interpreted by you. >> yes, and a number of other people who have looked at it as well. so the point is that if this does mean something, and if it could mean something that could impact u.s. law -- >> but this treaty states, it's not self-executing. and the u.s. supreme court has said that a nonself-executing treaty doesn't create obligations that can be enforced in u.s. federal courts. >> the fact that it may be nonself-executing, anderson, doesn't mean it doesn't have any impact at all. it just means you may not be able to bring a lawsuit arising under that treaty. but -- >> but doesn't become the law of the u.s. >> actually, it does. article 6 of the u.s. constitution says that any treaty ratified by a two-thirds super majority of the senate does become the supreme law of the land. and so this could come up in litigation. and although you couldn't have a cause of action arising directly under this treaty, it could come
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up and it could have an impact on the court's interpretation of u.s. law. >> can you name -- >> it could become part of u.s. law. >> can you name any other u.n. treaty that has forced changes in u.s. law? >> i didn't come prepared to cite supreme court precedent on this point, but it's a -- >> but what you are saying is totally hypothetical. you are using a bunch of hypotheticals saying they are going to -- this is going to force abortion rights for disabled people overseas. this is -- they are -- some groups are saying children with glasses are going to be taken from their parents. you are using all these very scary hypotheticals. you can't even cite one case where a u.n. treaty has ever impacted u.s. law. >> i'm not aware of one person who is saying that children with glasses are going to be taken away from their parents. the article 7 concern with the treaty is that best interests of the child standard will be injected into decisions regarding how best to educate and otherwise care for a disabled child. historically in the united states -- >> you can't name one u.n.
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treaty that has ever had an impact on u.s. law? >> well, i can't name one u.s. treaty that has been the deciding factor in a decision. it may well happen. i didn't come prepared to cite supreme court precedent. >> you've been on the floor of this senate arguing vigorously against this and you've had weeks and weeks to prepare on this. it just seems to be basing your decision on complete hypotheticals when there's never been a case that you can cite of a u.n. treaty -- again, this is a u.n. treaty, affecting u.s. law. >> okay, look. the fact that it may not have happened in exactly the way that you describe it doesn't mean that it couldn't happen. >> u.s. law already has the americans with disabilities act, but that law is not recognized in multiple countries overseas and this is a treaty trying to just raise standards in other countries overseas. it's basically trying to encourage, you know, the better treatment of disabled people around the world.
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>> look, u.s. law, including the americans with disabilities act, already provides the worldwide gold standard on the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. there are lots of ways we can promote and encourage countries to do this without agreeing to an international convention that will be administered and overseen by a u.n. body sitting in geneva, switzerland. >> so by that argument you really don't support any kind of u.n. treaty because you are saying the whole idea of kind of u.n. treaties that countries sign on to, you don't like that idea at all. >> typically, anderson, we use treaties to deal with international relations. to deal with the law of nations. and acting on the world's scene. this deals with a lot of issues that are distinctively domestic in nature. >> there are those who say that your objection to this and the objection of many groups has more to do with basically a dislike of the u.n. and any kind of thing that comes out of the u.n. and you sort of painted this
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picture that u.n. bureaucrats in geneva are going to be telling parents in utah how to raise their disabled child. but is there any case that you can cite where u.n. bureaucrats in geneva have been able to tell american parents how to do anything or american citizens how to do anything? >> no, there's not, anderson, but the fact that something like that hasn't happened, the fact they haven't succeeded in telling people how to live their lives from their perch in a u.n. office doesn't mean that we shouldn't be concerned about it here. >> i'm just trying to look for facts and i don't see the facts of the concerns that have been raised. i understand the hypothetical concern, but just based on, you know, the history. the u.n. has been around for a long time. i would think if this was the international organization of laws and the u.s. having to kowtow to u.n. law, i'd think that would have happened in some other case and i don't see it. >> you can't assume because something hasn't happened already that it couldn't happen in the future.
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and it doesn't render it a hypothetical concern. simply because it hasn't arisen to this level, up to this point. we do need to be concerned about the direction in which our law moves. and that's what's motivating my concerns here. >> senator lee, i appreciate your time and your perspective. thank you very much. >> thanks, anderson. >> by the way, senator lee said he didn't hear anybody raising concern about children with eye glasses being taken away by their parents under this u.n. treaty. actually, somebody did make that claim. his name is michael farris with the home school legal defense association. one of the groups that lobbied hard against this treaty. here's what he said in a radio interview for the american family association. >> the definition of disability is not defined in the treaty, and so my kid wears glasses. now they're disabled. now the u.n. gets control over them. >> the idea that the treaty would give the u.n. vast control over the american children's lives and take away kids with glasses from their parents is just factually incorrect. it's just not true.
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in july, testifying before the foreign relations committee, former u.s. attorney general dick thornburgh pointed out that kind of stuff is just not true and wouldn't have an impact on u.s. law. mr. thornburgh is a republican. he's also the father of a disabled son. he joins me now. mr. attorney general, i appreciate you being here. the crux of the senator's argument really seems to be just because u.s. law hasn't ever been affected by u.n. treaty doesn't mean it couldn't happen some day. he says under article 6 of the constitution, any u.n. treaty automatically becomes law of the land in the united states. is that true? >> well, the consideration of this treaty was very carefully framed by attaching a number of restrictions, understandings and declarations that make it clear that, number one, there is no need for change in u.s. law. there is not a single dime that has to be appropriated pursuant to this treaty. that the sovereignty of the united states is protected.
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that individual parents' rights are protected. this is, as one very real clear and important purpose to this and that is to send a message to the world that enables them to follow in the footsteps of what the united states has done in its landmark americans with disabilities act. that's purely and simply what the purpose of the act is. it has no effect whatsoever within this country. it gives no jurisdiction to the u.n. over any individual or any government within the united states. i am puzzled as to where these strong objections come from. >> what they are saying is u.n. bureaucrats in geneva or some office, you know, somewhere, are going to be able to, like, take home-schooled kids and force them to go to schools in america. or take kids with glasses away from their parents if they get labeled disabled. you are saying that's just fantasy? >> anderson, i served at the
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u.n. as an undersecretary-general and i know that it's not without fault. there are a lot of things that the u.n. doesn't do as well as it might, but there's never been any evidence of a grand conspiracy to take over parental rights or to take children away from their parents. these are pure fantasy. >> and senator lee could not come up with any example. i mean, his whole -- >> of course not. >> -- argument is based on the idea that u.n. treaties automatically become law in the united states and change u.s. law. he couldn't come up with one single example where that's ever happened. you've worked at the u.n. are you aware any of examples where that has happened? >> no, quite the contrary. i think the important thing is that when we adopt a treaty and we attach to it certain reservations, understandings and declarations that are in our interest and preserve our system and our rights, that's what becomes the law of the land. and that's what's been done here very carefully to preserve our rights. and, really, the notion of the united states relinquishing its longtime leadership role in a very important human rights area
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like the rights of people with disabilities is, to me, unthinkable. but i'm sure this will be back again for consideration either by this senate or by the new senate that takes office next month. but i don't think that these kinds of arguments that have been raised should carry the day. >> and you are saying that's what this is really about. the u.s. leadership to the world in terms of encouraging equal treatment of people who are disabled. because the other thing senator lee says, and others who agree with him say, is, well, if this doesn't have any impact on u.s. law, why are we even talking about it? why even sign on to this u.n. treaty? to that you say what? >> a very good reason. the united states has always aspired to world leadership in important areas like human rights. and for us to relinquish or forfeit that leadership because of these spurious reasons that have been raised in opposition to the u.n. convention, simply doesn't make any sense. we should be proud of what we've done in the united states. we should seek to see that the
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650 million people around the world who don't benefit from statutes like the americans with disabilities act are given that opportunity, given the opportunity to join the mainstream of society in their respective countries. but that's not going to happen if the world leader turns its back on the rest of the world and says we don't support this. >> and the number you throw out there is an important one just to repeat. 650 million disabled people around the world could potentially benefit if the countries who sign on to this u.n. treaty followed through on it. 650 million people. that is a world-changing number. >> and 80% of those come from lesser developed countries where we should be focusing our attention when it comes to human rights. >> attorney general dick thornburgh, i appreciate you coming on and talking. thanks very much. >> thank you. >> let us know what you think. i'm already tweeting about it @andersoncooper.
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do you think this was the right decision? the supreme court takes on the issue of same-sex marriage. a ruling could be just six months away on two cases that challenged the right of same-sex couples to marry. i'll get into what's at stake with that with jeffrey toobin next. [ male announcer ] how can power consumption in china, impact wool exports from new zealand, textile production in spain, and the use of medical technology in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved
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unlocking the world's potential. the supreme court is taking on the issue of same-sex marriage. the high court decided to hear two cases, one, doma, the defense of marriage act, and the other, a challenge to california's proposition 8 which took away the right for gays and lesbians to legally wed in the state. now the court's expected to hear arguments in march, with a ruling by late june. and the decision to take on the issue comes just weeks after voters in three more states approved same of sex marriage. joining me now, cnn's legal analyst jeffrey toobin. how big is this? put this in perspective.
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>> huge. this is really a major event in american history, not just court history. same-sex marriage now is at the center of the american legal world. this was a cause that was seen as a fringe issue as recently as the '90s. >> it wasn't even mentioned as a possibility. >> it was not even mentioned. polling has gone from, you know, approximately 20% to 30% support in the '90s. now gallup poll showed 53%. exist polls showed 49%. now ark fears command close to a majority support. and now the supreme court may decide that same-sex marriage will be the law of the land everywhere. >> how much of this has been affected by the fact that for the first time in this last election you have people going to the polls and actually voting to allow same-sex marriage as opposed to it coming from judges or legislators? >> i don't think justices sort of said the polls did "x" so i will do "y." in 1986, louis powell, the swing justice of his day, they had the first real gay rights case, and he said to his law clerk, you
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know, as they were sort of weighing the case, you know, i've never met a gay person. i've never met a homosexual. what is that like? now, he didn't know that law clerk himself was homosexual, but that was what the world was like in 1986, that a worldly, intelligent man could have thought that he'd never met someone who was gay. now, even the conservatives on the court couldn't possibly express a sentiment like that. and that's just reflected in how the court acts. >> what do you think -- are is there any way to read the tea leaves on this? >> based on my experience in the health care case, i am going to not do a lot of predictions because, you know, wrong is wrong. but anthony kennedy has been the key figure on gay rights. he has been basically a conservative justice, but in gay rights, he is the author of the two most significant pro-gay rights decisions. he's also someone who believes in states rights. and if you combine states rights and gay rights, that suggests
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supporting overturning the defense of marriage act because that is really a case that says, look. states should be able to define marriage and the federal government should honor that. that's a fairly easy case for anthony kennedy. the proposition 8 case, i think, is much more of a wild card, and i don't really know what to predict. >> it is interesting on the so-called defense of marriage act because it does -- it puts this federal ban and conservatives who were supposed to believe in states rights, normally would not be arguing for a federal law defining something. >> especially in something like marriage. because marriage is something that's always been regulated by states. you know, the states do alimony, child custody, all of those things go to the states. and the idea that the federal government would step into that was legally controversial even in '96 when it was passed, and now it's even more controversial. >> but, i mean, the two cases do cover different ground. >> proposition 8 is a
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potentially much bigger case because that, you know, the two extreme positions the court could do. they could simply say, look. the state of california can define marriage any way it wants. a man and a woman, and has nothing to do -- and gay people simply have to wait for california voters to change their mind. they could also say that under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, all states have to allow gay people to get married. i mean, they could conceivably say every state has to allow same-sex marriage. that would be the extreme position. i mean, i think that that -- >> that seems unlikely. >> it seems unlikely. certainly ted olson, the lead lawyer, at this part of the case, he's going to urge that. now they could also do a variety of compromise positions. they could say california has to allow same-sex marriage but we're not deciding about the other states. they could also get rid of the case on procedural grounds in various ways. there are lots of different possibilities. >> just when you think -- the year i was born, 1967 in new york, gay people were not
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allowed to congregate together. you were not allowed to be in the same bar dancing together. i mean, how far things have come so quickly. >> and, you know, 1967 was also the decision in loving versus virginia. that was the famous case that said interracial marriage could not be banned by states. today that looks like -- can you imagine a state that would ban interracial marriage? but 19 states still had that law in 1967. this, gay rights supporters have said, this is the loving versus virginia of gay rights. we'll see. you know, i don't know what the outcome will be. the fact they took both of these cases suggests they are really ready to engage with the issue. it sure looks like they are, the four democratic -- the four democratic members of the court will vote to allow -- to overturn doma, to allow california to have same-sex marriages. i think anthony kennedy, as is often the case, will be the swing vote. >> jeff toobin, thanks very much. tragedy after a prank call
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makes headlines. this is such an awful story. a pair of australian shock jocks, deejays, whatever you want to call them, got through to the ward treating katherine, the duchess of cambridge. the nurse that answered the phone has apparently taken her own life. there's fallout for the deejays. the royal family is weighing in on what happened. we have a live report ahead. capella university understands businesses are trying to come back from rough economic times. employees are being forced to do more with less. and the need for capable leaders is greater than ever.
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one a day men's 50+. the fight for a baby girl. the father says the mother never told him she was giving it up for adoption. will the adoptive parents give her up? that's the question. a judge has ruled. we'll tell you what happened when we continue. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years.
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tonight, "360" following a story that started as a joke, a hoax. took a sad and tragic turn tonight. a nurse that answered a prank call and transferred it to the ward treating the duchess of cambridge, has apparently taken her life. the phone call came from australian deejays. they pretended to be queen elizabeth and prince charles. they are off the air indefinitely following word of the nurse's death.
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a statement issued on behalf of william and kate expressed sadness over the tragedy and also their gratitude for the wonderful care they received from the hospital. cnn royal correspondent max foster is live in london with the latest. this is such a shocking story. what's the latest we know now about this nurse and about what happened to her? >> we know that she was married. she had a husband and two young children. they weren't in london at the time of the death. they were out of town. but that's the context. and the hospital, everyone that seemed to know her said she was a brilliant nurse. her boss said she was a first class nurse. obviously, very, very good at her job but felt under some sort of pressure from all of this. now the palace, saint james' palace said they never at any point complained to the hospital about this prank call going through and this personal information being released to these australian radio presenters. so they didn't put any pressure on and the hospital, anderson, said there were no disciplinary proceedings taking place either.
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so this was a personal weight on her shoulders it seems. >> it's so horrible. she wasn't being disciplined. the royal family hadn't complained. colleagues had been supporting her. is there any idea, do we know -- i don't want to get too personal or pry into her life, but was there more going on with her or simply the pressure of this? or do we not know? >> we obviously have to find out more about her. very little information coming out. certainly if she was so professional and felt so proud of her job and this happened, and the headlines have been extraordinary. i mean, you know, front page news daily this story. her name wasn't out. but everyone knew that there was this big mess-up when the call got up to the ward. and she was responsible. >> what's the latest on the two deejays who pranked the hospital? i understand they are now off the air? >> they've taken themselves off air. that's what the radio station says. they've also closed down their twitter accounts. if you look on social media, their facebook page, the radio
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station's facebook page, immense amounts of criticism. i mean, the comments are really, really negative. this has become a very emotional story in the uk and around the world, it seems. and blood on your hands is the phrase that keeps coming up. they obviously didn't intend this. these weren't journalists. they were comedians, if anything, and they gave it a go and it went through. there's a lot of criticism here that this should be tried. you have reported, i know, on the privacy laws in this country and the tabloid journalism and the pressure around that. and so this was seen as completely inappropriate. and it's come out with a worse possible ending as well. >> it's just an awful, awful event. max foster, appreciate you being with us. a 21-month-old girl was caught up in an adoption battle. that's ahead. first, kyung lah with the "360 bulletin." the republican chairman on the house intelligence committee says the u.s. has a moral obligation to act immediately if there's concrete proof syrian troops have loaded chemical weapons that are ready to be
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launched. this video posted online which cnn cannot independently verify purports to show syrian missiles that have been modified to carry chemical and biological weapons. 146,000 jobs were added last month. and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7%. that is the lowest level in four years. but it is mainly due to workers dropping out of the labor force. and today marks the 71st anniversary of the japanese attack on pearl harbor. a survivor was honored at today's ceremony in hawaii. 91-year-old ray emery's research has helped identify the remains of nine victims who were buried as unknowns. a former soldier, anderson, who won't give up on his friends even all these years later. there's a battle for a little girl in utah we want you to know about. she was put up for adoption without her biological father knowing it. that's the little girl. her father is fighting to get his daughter back. i'll speak to him and we'll hear how all of this happened when we continue.
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welcome back. a custody battle over a little girl in utah has pitted her adoptive parents against the biological dad who didn't know his wife was putting her up for adoption. now the father is desperate to get his daughter back, but the adoptive couple who are the only parents she's ever known are doing everything they can to fight that. i'll speak with the father in just a moment. he said he's only seen his daughter twice since he found out where she was. first, randi kaye has the story of how this happened. >> reporter: at 21 months, this girl is caught in a fierce battle between the only parents she's ever known and her biological father who says until last year, he never even knew she existed. it all started in february 2009 when staff sergeant terry achane married tyra bland.
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in june 2010 they discovered they were expecting a baby girl whom they planned to name talia. about six months later, though, achane was called for duty. so he left texas for south carolina. by then, the couple's marriage was on the rocks. his wife even suggested adoption, but achane wanted to be a father. still, just ten days after he left town, his wife went against his wishes. >> she just made the decision not to let me be a father and went behind my back, deceived me and gave my child up for adoption. >> tyra bland called the adoption center of choice in utah. around that same time, a utah couple, jerod and christy frei called the same agency looking to adopt. when bland gave birth to talia, the agency arranged for the freis to adopt her. the trouble is, no one ever told the girl's father. court papers show the birth mother knowingly gave the adoption agency the wrong contact information for mr.
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achane. two addresses in texas, even though she knew he was in south carolina. tyra bland told "good morning america" her husband wasn't there for her and that's why she turned to the freis and adoption. >> they cared, you know, about me and, you know, the well-being of lia when he wasn't there. when he wasn't around. when he didn't care. he showed no interest in me being pregnant. when he left me, he didn't leave my with an address. >> reporter: but achane's lawyer told me that's just not true. that his client provided for bland by paying the bills and that he wanted to care for their baby. >> they took a child away from a married father. >> reporter: achane has since divorced his wife. but around the time talia was supposed to be born, achane contacted his wife's sister and brother-in-law in an effort to track down his wife and baby. court records show achane's brother-in-law told him he had seen his wife but that she no
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longer looked pregnant and their baby was, quote, nowhere in sight. according to court documents, the adoption agency had informed the adoptive parents jerod and christy frei that the girl's biological father was not aware his daughter had been put up for adoption, warning there was a risk he could contest it. it was made clear to the freis it could be upended. the freis acknowledged the risk but decided to proceed anyway. it wasn't until six months after talia's birth that achane's wife told him what she'd done. he immediately called the adoption agency to find out how to get his daughter back. instead of directing him to his daughter, court records show the agency refused to help. even asked mr. achane if he would be willing to sign away his paternal rights. meanwhile, the freis, now aware the little girl's father wanted her back, filed another adoption
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petition. and when achane's lawyer sent a letter to the freis asking his client be allowed to spend time with his daughter, that letter was ignored. >> i've just been with her six hours total out of her own life. that's hard to deal with. >> reporter: in response to the freis' petition for adoption, a utah judge has now ordered the couple return the toddler to her biological father within 60 days. the judge found that mr. achane's opportunity to develop a relationship with his daughter was deliberately thwarted. the court ruled that because the freis knew mr. achane had been married to talia's mother and was her legal father, he was entitled to immediate custody of his daughter. not what talia's birth mother was hoping to hear. >> my heart was comfortable with lia being with the freis. i'd rather see her with me struggling first before she goes with him. >> the clock is ticking for the freis to hand talia over.
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the deadline is january 16th. but the freis aren't giving up. they've requested a stay of the judge's order and are planning to appeal. calls to the freis were not returned but their lawyer sent me an e-mail explaining the freis do not believe that anything can be gained by trying their case in the court of public appeal. they believe the district court made some fundamental errors in its decision, and they will raise those with the appropriate appellate court. but once a natural parent comes forward, the judge's ruling reads, the adoptive parents become merely legal strangers. randi kaye, cnn, atlanta. >> joining me is staff sergeant terry achane along with his attorney mark wiser. appreciate both of you being with us. first of all, terry, how are you holding up? how are you dealing with this? >> i've been going through this for 18, 19 months. so my main focus is just getting my daughter back right now. >> have you even seen her? >> yes, i've seen her twice. >> what was that like?
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>> i was very happy the first time i seen her. but the only hurtful part about it is when it's time to go, when i'm giving her back. she's not coming with me. that's the only hard part of it. >> why do you think your ex-wife did this? >> she never gave me an answer, but i believe, if i would say, just to hurt me. why? i don't know because we don't talk or nothing like that. >> mark, legally, what happens now? where does this stand? >> the judge made a ruling on november 20th. and he's ordered that a transition take place within 60 days. the freis, through their attorney, have notified us that they plan to do an appeal and they've asked the judge to stay that decision and not do anything. unfortunately, if this is appealed it could be another year, year and a half before he would get his child back. >> and would you be allowed visitations during that time or how would that -- >> no, he would not if the judge were to stay the decision. we're hopeful the judge will make the right decision again and he'll be able to get his
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daughter. if they want to appeal, they can. >> i've read the court documents. this family can't be surprised by this because they were informed by the adoption agency that you had not been informed about the adoption, correct? >> right, correct. >> so, i mean, the judge has said that both you and the adoptive parents are innocent victims in this. do you think they are innocent victims in this? >> they're also victims, but at the same time, they did know. they did know. and once i asked for my daughter back, that should have just happened right then and there instead of prolonging this, taking me all through this. >> did you always want to be a dad? you had told your then wife that? >> yes, that's the reason i got married, to have a family. >> and she knew that all along? >> she knew that. she knew that. >> wow. i can't imagine what this is like. >> i mean, like i said, i've been going through it for a while now. now my main focus is just to get my daughter back. >> we wish you the best. thank you so much. >> thank you.
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>> we'll continue to follow that story. president obama asking congress for billions in relief after superstorm sandy. but is it enough to coverage all the damage? we'll tell you how much he's asking for ahead. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of all day pain relief. this season, discover aleve. all day pain relief with just two pills.
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[ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. have you seen our new barbie section? it's filled with all the new dolls that just arrived. ♪ it's a barbie wonderland! [ allen ] honey? here, ken. allen. ♪ [ gasps ] it's a barbie wonderland... hey, who's ken? [ male announcer ] get more barbie than ever before this holiday season. like the fashion design plates, color stylin' hair, and spa to fab barbie dolls that just arrived. all backed by our low price guarantee. from america's gift headquarters. walmart. welcome back. it's part of an ongoing series. cnn has taken a close look at what it means to be black in america today. soledad o'brien went in search
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of some answers to provocative questions like what determines race, family or society. she met an activist who is trying to teach young kids a lesson she hopes they never forget. >> my stance is, teach the children what it is. show them the history. make them aware of this issue so that when they go to school, when they go out in the world, they are armed with this information. >> because he wants to buy her because her skin is lighter. >> that's just messed up. >> colorism was something that plantation owners used as an instrument to divide and conquer their own enslaved persons. by extending to a lighter skinned enslaved persons more privileges. and it was a way to get those lighter skinned black folks to be more likely to side with the owner if there was a slave rebellion plan. >> you guys sit in the back. >> even among 6-year-olds, she's not afraid to shock. today, the brown paper bag test. she stops each child entering the classroom and compares their
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skin tone to a paper bag. >> let me see your arm. can you put your arm out for me? okay. you got to sit in the back. >> lighter than the bag, you can sit in the front. it's a real test from the early 1900s. used by social organizations like churches and fraternities and neighborhood groups to decide who was light skinned enough to join. >> was it too extreme to do to little kids? >> the more shocking the activity is the better because it's going to stick with them. >> why are you all feeling bad? >> she showed us that dark skin had to sit in the back and light skin had to sit in the front. i didn't think it was fair. >> it's an eye-opening report. "who is black in america" airs on cnn this sunday, 8:00 p.m. eastern and pacific. kyung lah is back with another "360 bulletin." new violent protests in egypt aimed at president morsi. they broke through barricades protecting the presidential palace while demonstrators
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outside cairo threw bottles and rocks at morsi's house. they want him to cancel an upcoming constitutional referendum. today the government announced a willingness to delay the vote. a powerful 7.3 magnitude quake struck off the coast of japan today and triggered a small tsunami. there are no immediate reports of injuries or damage. but it hit the same region still recovering from the march 2011 quake. president obama is asking congress for more than $60 million for superstorm sandy relief efforts. that amount falls short of the total damage estimates reported in the affected states. and arizona lottery officials say the second winner from last month's record powerball drawing is now claiming the prize but does not want to be identified. they only say he is in his 30s, lives outside phoenix and walks away with nearly $193 million before taxes. >> wow.
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time for the "ridiculist." tonight a brand new product. it's a dream come true. it's a dream come true if you are canadian and dream about walking around and smelling like a pizza hut. yes, pizza hut canada have come up with a limited edition run of pizza hut perfume. mm. the bad news is they only made
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110 bottles and gave them away to facebook fans. so you can't just run out and buy it. oh, pizza hut, canada, why must you tease us so. they aren't ruling out a larger run on pizza hut perfume in the future, but for now we'll have to go old school, improvise a little. i find a few heaping teaspoons of pepperoni grease behind the ears. this is the same company that recently offered this limited edition crust because who hasn't gotten to the end of a slice of pizza and said, i feel like something is missing and i'm pretty sure that thing is a hot dog. i can almost hear the scoffing. pizza perfume, meet cologne. it's edgy, people. have you seen the brad pitt commercials for chanel number five? >> the world turns and we turn with it. plans disappear. dreams take over. >> what?
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what? brad pitt should totally do the pizza perfume commercials. it's not a pizza. it's a slice of a dream wrapped in a riddle around a hot dog. it's not delivery. it's digiorno. although chanel probably would not go for it. i wouldn't want to confuse conan o'brien more than he already is. >> i watched it again today. and i have to say, it's even stranger than i remembered it from the first time. >> it's not a journey. every journey ends, but we go on. the world turns. we turn with it. >> the point is, every perfume needs a celebrity spokesman. if brad pitt isn't available, pizza hut should do whatever it can to get kristin wiig. >> she knows exactly where to go. she knows exactly what to do, and all her friends are dudes. >> red flag. >> she's exquisite.